A trusted advisor and advocate to national and regional firms across the UK, Lorna brings a wealth of expertise to her clients from her balanced personal injury, clinical negligence and employment practice. Equally at home in Multi Track Trials, Employment Tribunal Cases and in considering factually dense cases on the papers, Lorna is considered a ‘go-to’ barrister and works overwhelmingly by repeat instruction. Her rounded practice means she can see the angles others may miss.
Lorna’s incisive ability to identify the salient points and issues at an early stage and advise accordingly sets her apart. With a balanced Claimant and Defendant/Respondent practice, particularly in London and the Midlands, Lorna also brings particular expertise in the automotive manufacturing, healthcare, retail and financial sectors across all disciplines. Lorna delivers a bespoke service on each matter. Her precision and robust cross-examination abilities are commended by clients. Lorna’s cross-disciplinary expertise at pursuing and defending allegations of fraud and dishonesty is coupled with a robust knowledge of costs. She is adept at protecting clients’ reputations and pockets, robustly seeking adverse findings and costs consequences from opposing parties in the right case.
Prior to joining the Bar, Lorna studied at Exeter College, Oxford. Lorna remains an international Li and Fung Scholar and has also received the Tancred Studentship, Lord Haldane Scholarship and Hardwicke Scholarship from Lincoln’s Inn. In addition, Lorna has marshalled for Justice Barma at the High Court of Hong Kong. Outside of work, Lorna loves to ski, travel and spend time with her dog Hercules.
Lorna has extensive knowledge across the full spectrum of personal injury, including Occupiers’ Liability, Employers’ Liability, Highways Act and Animals Act claims. Her busy, primarily multi-track practice is truly cradle to grave – from initial advice on merits and quantum, through interim, costs and directions hearings, to trial (and, if necessary, appeal).
Clients outcomes are optimised due to Lorna’s provision of tactical advice on directions and case progression from an early stage. She is often instructed to advise prior to allocation hearings and CCMCs, and prized for her ability to present a “birds’ eye view” of the claim to judges dealing with case management issues. Her forensic and thorough case preparation combines with her focused, incisive advocacy to render her a trial advocate to be reckoned with.
Lorna’s avoids the easy road, going the extra mile to ensure that a clients’ reasonable best case on damages is put forward. She is equally as ready with complex mathematical arguments based on the Ogden tables as she is with the broader, underpinning laws of recovery and emerging legal principles.
Lorna has several particular areas of additional specialism, including:
- Fundamental Dishonesty: Lorna prosecutes and defends allegations of fundamental dishonesty, distinguishing cases where a fraud “flag” is inappropriately applied and those where a fundamental dishonesty finding appears likely. She offers robust and practical advice to vigorously pursue the best result. She has had great success in dis-applying QUOCs and obtaining considerable sums of indemnity costs. Lorna utilises the full range of QUOCS exceptions including third party costs orders. She recently obtained a strike out for abuse of process moments ahead of the service of a Notice of Discontinuance, meaning that costs were retrievable due to the Claimant’s conduct.
- International illness, travel and accident claims: Lorna has an extensive international illness and accident claims practice, instructed mainly by Claimants. She is adept at dealing with complex questions of jurisdiction and is fully conversant with the Athens and Montreal Conventions and the Package Travel Regulations. Her work includes regular examination of international law, in addition to frequent cross examination of lay and expert parties through interpreters and remote technology.
A broad snapshot of Lorna’s recent personal injury work includes:
- an ongoing (2020) Inquest, receiving national press attention, into deaths which occurred during a salmonella outbreak in the North-East;
- ongoing (2020) advice and representation in multi track cases, including those concerning: repetitive strain injury, fatal accidents, sustained assaults in a psychiatric hospital, group litigation under the Package Travel Regulations and gratuitous care under the rule in Lowe v Guise;
- a two-day (2020) multi track trial concerning an accident abroad, involving the cross-examination of expert architects over video-link; and
- advice and representation (2020) for solicitors required to appeal when critical evidence was missed from a bundle in an application hearing.
Lorna is instructed in the full spectrum of clinical negligence claims involving hospitals, GP practices and private practitioners. With a balanced Claimant and Defendant profile, she is experienced in getting to the root of medical terminology, procedures and guidelines. She is often instructed to advise from an early stage, identifying the key points and salient details with the client, instructed experts and solicitors so as to present or defend the claim on its best footing. However, if required, she is also used to providing the clear and robust sounding board needed to react effectively, if cases are already underway.
A broad snapshot of Lorna’s recent clinical negligence work includes:
- an ongoing (2020) case concerning cosmetic lip augmentation, involving complex considerations of party status and the law of vicarious liability;
- an ongoing (2020) case concerning the delayed diagnosis of cancer in a party who later lost litigation capacity; and
- an inquest (2019) representing the family of a deceased young man who had been diagnosed with an aggressive but highly treatable form of cancer. A neglect verdict was obtained against the hospital.
Lorna is instructed equally by Claimants and Respondents across the breadth of employment law matters. She has a particular specialism in discrimination and harassment claims. Having gained ‘Approved Counsel’ status for a number of firms and businesses, Lorna’s repeat instructions often come from within the retail, financial, manufacturing and healthcare sectors.
Solicitors instruct Lorna particularly for her ability to deal persuasively yet sensitively with complex claims involving historic allegations, vulnerable witnesses and parties. She is regularly commended for her tactical advice and drafting at a claim’s early stage, in addition to her ability to “get inside” the working practices and requirements of a business and to help witnesses feel informed and at ease.
A broad snapshot of Lorna’s varied employment practice includes:
- a final hearing (2020) successfully justifying direct age discrimination in respect of a retirement benefit, by reference to a historic direct benefit pension scheme;
- an ongoing matter (2020) concerning alleged disability discrimination in the context of a private psychiatric institution;
- a five-day final hearing (2020) concerning alleged disability discrimination and unfair dismissal, considering over 4 years of allegations;
- a last-minute instruction (2019) for an interim relief hearing concerning alleged unfair dismissal due to trade union activity. Lorna successfully resisted the application for interim relief;
- a 19-day trial (2019) achieving the successful dismissal of all 26 discrimination allegations; and
- a final hearing (2019) succeeding for a Claimant in her pregnancy discrimination and unfair dismissal claims, including advising on and drafting a successful costs application. Cross-examination focused heavily on “contemporaneous” documents which the Claimant asserted were fabricated. The tribunal found against the Respondent, who had denied knowledge, concluding that the reason given for the Claimant’s dismissal was a front.
Working with Lorna
Lorna knows the value of identifying a case’s strengths early and obtaining directions that assist the matter to its final hearing whilst protecting the claim and maintaining advantage. Whilst Lorna has the ability and expertise to represent clients from initial advice and drafting, she can also ‘pick up the pieces’ in complex cases already in train. A commensurate advocate, Lorna’s precise and robust advocacy means she is well-versed in interim applications, final hearings, appeals and on costs.
Lorna regularly receives extremely positive client feedback and, more unusually, is often thanked by vulnerable parties she has opposed, even in circumstances where their claims have been defeated. Lorna is able to marry her extensive legal knowledge with a client’s priorities and appetite for risk (reputational and financial), negotiating and obtaining risk-adjusted settlements where appropriate. Lorna aims to return paperwork within 21 days, but is frequently instructed to provide expedited Advices by agreement.
Appointments and Memberships
Personal Injury Bar Association
Employment Lawyers’ Association
Lincoln’s Inn – Hardwicke, Tancred and Lord Haldane Scholar
International Scholar – Li and Fung Foundation
In October, Lorna was elected to the Bar Council for 2021